Today is the late Dan Quisenberry‘s birthday. Quisenberry was one of the premier relievers of the 1980s, leading the American League in saves five times from 1980 through 1985. Kansas City released the submariner on Independence Day in 1988 and he signed ten days later with the Cardinals. After a year and a half in St. Louis, Quisenberry signed with San Francisco in January 1990. He pitched five games for the Giants before retiring.
In addition to his unique pitching style, Quiz was known for his poetic talents. A collection of poems was published in April 1998 under the title On Days Like This. It’s a nice collection and copies can be found relatively inexpensive on Amazon. I picked up a copy several years ago (to be more precise, seven years ago according to Amazon!).
Quisenberry passed away September 30, 1998, from brain cancer. He was only 45 years old.
In 1986 Topps teamed up with Quaker to issue a 33-card set full of superstars, including a nice handful of future Hall of Famers. Today we have the final six cards in the set…
Five out of the last six cards feature Hall of Fame players. Tom Seaver received the highest-ever percentage of votes when he was inducted in 1992 with 98.8%, and it was thought that Cal Ripken might challenge that mark when his name appeared on the ballot. Ripken ended up with 98.5% of the vote, which landed him third on the list behind Tom Terrific and Nolan Ryan. Jim Rice struggled the most to get into Cooperstown, finally garnering the 75% required in his fifteenth and final year on the BBWAA ballot.
The lone non-Hall of Famer here is Dan Quisenberry, one of the best closers in the majors in the first half of the 1980s and especially famous for his submarine style of delivering the ball to the plate. He finished in the top five in Cy Young voting five times, and top 10 in MVP voting four times. Quisenberry retired in 1990 and passed away in 1998 from a brain tumor. In addition to his baseball career, Quisenberry is known for his writing; a book of his poetry was published in 1998.